In my adult years I have gone on six first dates.
The first, first date happened after a night of drunken dancing with a neighbor at a local bar when I was 21 years old. I decided maybe I should get to know him a little better after being so close to him for several hours. This fellow, let’s call him K, came over to my house and we played Nintendo together. We played several different games, and we were fairly matched in our skill level, so I was pretty impressed. I asked K if he wanted to watch a movie with me even though it was still early in the evening. He agreed to the movie so we sat on the couch together and started watching. About halfway through the movie I could feel his heart pounding right through my shoulder. Then I felt his head bump into my hair…I thought he might’ve tried to kiss the back of my head. His nervousness was slightly endearing.
After about another ten minutes K started burping under his breath. He kept burping more frequently and his heart was still pounding. His apparent nervousness was suddenly not as endearing as I thought he might throw up on me. I paused our movie and announced I needed water, and asked if he wanted a glass of water or needed anything else. K said he was going to use the bathroom. From the kitchen I could hear him throwing up, and I felt awful and grossed out at the same time. Had I made K so nervous that sitting next to me made him puke? We finished the movie, and his heart would pound every time he moved his hand closer to my leg. After the movie was finished I said goodnight and sent him home without a kiss. We still went on a second date though, but only because I secretly liked the attention. But our relationship didn’t last past the second date.
Shortly after that I went on my second first date with a co-worker at the restaurant where I worked. I’ll call this guy S. He had been telling all of our other co-workers that I was his “girl” about two weeks after I started working there. S invited me on a group date with his best friend to go floating down a river in tubes. It sounded like fun so I agreed to the adventure. I learned a lot about S on that trip, including that he had spent time in jail, had three small children, hated dentists, and had tried and sold nearly every substance I knew existed. Despise all that I still had fun on our date. I was surprised how much I enjoyed learning about S and seeing his life up close. Partly, I think, because it was so different from my own.
My third first date took place online the following summer. I met an Irishman, C on a chat website, and we hit it off. At first we emailed back and forth, usually several times a week. Then C asked me on a skype date. It was pretty fun as I had already gotten to know him a little bit. That first date mostly consisted of sending music videos back and forth of songs that we thought the other person would enjoy. We got along rather well. C and I talked on skype daily for about a year and then he came to visit me in America and we had our first in person date. It was a fun time, and we enjoyed each other’s company, but the sparks did not fly like I thought they might and things fizzled out shortly thereafter.
My fourth first date was with a friend, B when I was in graduate school. I was 23 at the time, and it was B.’s birthday. One of our other good friends was going to celebrate with us, but she couldn’t make it at the last minute and it ended up being just me and B. We went for drinks at a bar down the street from my house and danced all night to the jukebox. We both got drunk and he couldn't drive home after drinking so much so we stayed at my place together. I remember giving him a spare toothbrush I had and telling him that oral hygiene was super important after drinking, got to get all that sugar off of your teeth. It was the first time I had thought about B in a romantic way rather than just a new friend. We dated for about a year and a half after that first date.
After that relationship ended, I started online dating. I talked with a lot of different people, and this lead to my fifth first date with a guy named G. We met at a sushi restaurant after talking online for a few weeks. It felt like a stereotypical first date—splitting sushi and talking about all sorts of random topics. G was different from any of the other fellows I had been on dates with. He was very direct and would rarely engage in small talk. It was fun spending time with G because our conversations would venture to odd topics like black holes, mystery novels, and hypothetical allergies. After the sushi we rode together to a frozen yogurt shop and continued our odd but interesting conversations. Our first date ended with a hug and was followed by a several other dates. These dates would start out in a similar fashion but would quickly turn into G directly asking if we could make out now. I wasn’t feeling it as much as he was, so after five dates I told him directly that the relationship wasn’t working for me and that was the end of it.
My last first date also stemmed from online dating. But this one was different. I asked for the date rather than the fellow asking me. I had talked with D online for a few weeks and then he asked for my phone number so we could text instead. We sent messages back and forth nearly every day for a month while I was out of town for Christmas. I told him when I would be back in town and asked if we could meet in person. He agreed! I felt so nervous before the date and changed outfits for about 45 minutes straight. He picked me up in his car and we drove to a pizza place. We talked for about 3 hours over pizza about all sorts of things, the time went by so quickly it felt like only 10 minutes had passed. Afterwards we walked back to D’s car holding hands. I didn’t want the date to be over so I asked if we could go for ice cream. D clearly wasn’t ready for the date to end either, so we drove across town for dessert. Time seemed like it was going so quick, and I just wanted to spend more time with him! When he got to my house to drop me off, I asked if he wanted to come inside to play Nintendo. D said sure, so we played a few games. We got to talking about movies and ended up watching one together until about 3am! I wasn’t about to send D home that late at night when he was clearly exhausted during the movie, so he stayed the night. The next day was Saturday and I had some work I had to do for school. I told D what I had to do and asked if he wanted to see my office at school. D. seemed interested so we ate our leftover pizza from the night before, and our first date continued for a second day. D followed me to my office, then to a different office on campus, and then asked me to lunch. We ate a third meal together and walked back to my apartment. D and I spent the rest of Saturday hanging out together and he stayed the night again. We woke up on Sunday morning and went for breakfast together, and then said our goodbyes. The 36-hour long date ended with lots of kisses and plans for a second date. I still didn’t want the first date to end.
I haven’t had any other first dates after D because we are still together nearly two years later. I haven’t felt happier with anyone else, and my feelings for not wanting the date to end have led to so many other dates with D and good times together!